Petition for Permanent Residence - Problems & God's Solutions
Flying over the Pacific Ocean on my way to the United States, I asked the Lord, "Lord, I've no desire to go to the United States; I'm going because You're leading the way. What's Your will for bringing me to the United States?" The Lord then gave me two notions: First, go to the United States and share with brothers and sisters in the Free World what you have seen, heard, experienced, and learned in China and what the Lord has revealed to you. Second, when abroad, you will be able to do what you cannot do in China, especially in terms of writing and ministry among students, scholars and their families from China.
I then figured that, since the Lord had sent me to the United States, I should apply for the right to stay. Therefore, when the visa was soon to expire, I applied for the right for permanent stay - commonly called the "green card." The purpose of my writing about this matter is for brothers and sisters to see that, when God leads you to a certain place, His hands will certainly take charge of the circumstances accordingly, confirming His leading.
To apply for the "green card" in the United States, it was necessary to enlist a lawyer. The first lawyer I contacted asked for a fee of $4,600, or $4,200 with reference, which was too high for me and did not seem to be provided for by the Lord. The next lawyer, an African American, asked for $3,500 with no discounts, which was still too high for me. Brother Lin in New York recommended to me a lawyer who had experience as an immigration officer specializing in "green card" applications. His fee was only $1,500. Thinking the charge was perhaps reasonable; I sent him the required documents. Surprisingly, he returned them with a note: "Not possible." Consequently, time was running out - for it was already mid-December and my visa was due to expire on January 2.
Thinking I probably did not have enough time to apply for permanent residence, I just randomly picked a lawyer from Hong Kong, named Kenneth Lee - whose office was on the same street as mine - and asked him to apply for my visa extension. He asked, "Why don't you apply for the ??green card' instead?" I replied that time was not on my side. "No, there's enough time," he said, "in fact, the timing is just fine. If you apply too early, it'd give the immigration office the impression that you had initially intended to stay behind." When I enquired about the fee, he said, "$3,000 for someone from Taiwan; only $1,500 for someone from China - that's because most people from China aren't as well-off." As the fees seemed quite reasonable, I gave him the materials the following day. Surprisingly, after glancing through the papers, he was touched with compassion and said, " Mr. Yu, I'm giving you a discount; the fee is only $750. This covers only the basic office expenses, which means I'll work for you for free." The lawyer was a godly, compassionate Catholic who gladly offered to assist me out of love when he learned that I had been exiled for Christ for so many years. Hearing this, the two elderly sisters who were accompanying me were close to tears, and one of them immediately wrote a check for $750 and handed it over to the lawyer.